Google’s June (and upcoming July) 2021 Core Update

Google algorithm update

It’s an eventful time for the SEO world as preparation, speculation and more than a little analysis are ongoing around Google’s long awaited Page Experience update.

There is also the small matter of their first Core Algorithm update of 2021 too.

Announced on June 2nd 2021 this first update of the year started to affect SERPs 2-3 days later, with almost all sectors and industries reporting a presence in the red zone for both mobile and desktop stats.

The June Core update is widely expected to be followed in July by the year’s second update, or as many consider it; the second half of the June update.

Here are some of the things known about the update’s impact so far along with clear winners and those who fell foul of the new algorithm.

Some industries are seeing greater volatility

Whilst news and sport sites generally experience greater volatility generally, other affected sectors on both mobile and desktop appear to be Travel, Science, Pets & Animals, the Auto Industry and Health.

Some sectors however have been particularly affected on the mobile web, such as Beauty & Fitness, Real Estate and People & Society.

Size seems to matter

Over half (58%) of the sites most affected by volatility fall into the small to midsize range based on monthly traffic numbers of less than 500K.

7% of those with traffic of 500K-1M saw similarly high position spikes with 18% of sites with traffic of 1M-10M and 17% of those with 10M+ have been affected.

Core Update winners and losers

Some sights saw big visibility gains post-update, sectors such as Law & Government, Internet & Telecommunications and Food & Drink related sites reported an average SERP gain of 23 positions.

Where some sites fared well, others did not however with some sectors seeing their average positions nosedive.

Education & Jobs as well as Business & Industry looked on helplessly while their positions dropped. Interestingly the Food & Drink sector is included here, despite also being one of the key post-update winners.

These sites lost an average of around 16 positions, compared to average losses of around 23 places after the last (December 2020) update.

Interestingly, the two sites that were hit hardest by the Core Update were both airports, with Fresno Yosemite International and Oklahoma’s Will Rogers World Airport seeing their positions plummet by 50 and 36 positions respectively.

While Core Updates are always followed by a period of instability for some, it is important to remember that some of the planned improvements for the June 2021 update didn’t make it in. Google have announced via their SearchLiaison Twitter account that those remaining will be implemented in the July update, effectively giving the Core Update a two-part nature.

Google have also offered reassurance, that some of the drops that certain sectors felt far more than others, may well be reversed in July. However that might not be such welcome news for those which enjoyed spikes.

Future proofing your site against future algorithm updates is of course impossible, paying close attention to the Search Engine giant’s own recommendations is a solid plan, as is keeping an eye on your own ranking and of course the excellence of your content.